- New Years is bigger than Christmas. On New Years Santa Clause comes to your door with gifts. It used to be a snow man that came to the door, but now Santa comes.
- On New Year, the first person who comes through your door is very important because that person will represent the type of luck you will have all year.
- On your birthday it is your responsibility to make your own cake. Everyone comes to your house and you host a Supra (a party). This must be held on the day you were born no moving the date for convenience. So if your birthday falls on a Monday you celebrate on Monday.
- The biggest birthday is on your Golden Birthday - when the date you were born matches your age.
- Easter occurs in May. It is a very religious holiday.
- On Easter people go to their loved ones graves and have a small Supra. This is similar to Dios de los Metros
- On Friday before Easter you dye eggs red.
- You give people even flowers for good events and odd flowers for sad events.
- All police building are made with glass to show transparency. This was done in 2003 with a new president who fired all police officers and replaced them with new ones to end corruption
- All 18 year olds must join the army.
- David the Builder was the greatest king who reigned over Georgia's golden age in 11th-12th centuries.
- The first European's were Georgian.
The above picture is of Ivane Ckheidze, Lela Okromelidze, and Sopio Nadiraze. They were above of the FLEX program which is an exchange program that brought these students to the United States for a year in high school. I was very impressed with all of the students. They were very inspiring. Lela, in the middle, has accomplished more in her short life than I have. She is on her way to becoming immunologists. She is working to cure Visceral Leishmaniasis, black fever, which is the second leading killer to malaria. Sopia, on the right, is working towards a degree in archeology. The two woman face an uphill battle as many women are not expected to be in these fields but due to their experience in the US, and more importantly their hard work, they have been afforded many opportunities.
When asked to compare Georgian and U.S. schools, they said that they liked the amount of choice offered in US school to pursue their own interests. They liked that Georgian schools had more of a community and friendly field. One thing they did not like about Georgian schools was that there was too much testing. They also mentioned that in Georgia that there is an expectation that you go to university. If you do not go to university you will not get a good job.
Teachers use Facebook a teaching tool and to set up learning groups.
There perception of US students is that they are good at procrastination and that they do not take advantage of all the opportunities given to them.
I would love to bring a student from Georgia to Milton through the FLEX program.
In the afternoon, we visited the U.S. Embassy where we got a security briefing and learned about the different education programs they offer.